Would a person of colour have been offered the contract? Would they have been trusted to select and edit the anthology?
My history with #Penguin
goes back to when I was a child. I used to read their books widely, recognising and selecting books with the familiar Penguin logo stamped on the front and on the spines. I dreamed of being a writer and wondered how it would feel to be published, and to see my name on those books.
Always writing on the sidelines, from short fiction stories to content writing, and with my debut novel, Jasmine Falling, newly published, I answered a call for submissions for an anthology of Tales of Muslim Worlds. The editor was looking for non-fiction stories from Muslim experiences and since I work on representing Muslim women and had experience of researching pieces in my heritage homeland of #Palestine
, I submitted a few pieces.
A year after submitting, I received the email that every writer loves to see pop up in their inbox: ‘Good news – we found a publisher’. My writing had been selected from a pile of #submissions
and was going to be published by a major publisher. I read the email, and the book deal for the above anthology was being bought by none other than Penguin. It was a sign; our relationship was beginning again almost two decades later.
When I read the contract, it stated an honorarium sum of a minimal amount offered to authors, and that all other rights were relinquished for both current and future, worldwide rights to the story. No #royalties
would be shared with the #authors
. I felt disappointed that our collective experiences that would come to make up the anthology and used for the growing appetite for diverse narratives still side-lined us as not being important enough that we would also share in the success of the book.
to read the latest of my article I wrote for TMV.
#publishing #orientalism #writers #POC #WOC #fairpay